The Sustainability of Health Care Spending in Canada 2017 finds that health-care spending by provincial governments has increased by 116 per cent since 2001 and is projected to keep growing over the next 15 years. In fact, by 2031, health-care spending is projected to consume 42.6 per cent of all provincial program spending (on average), up from 40.1 per cent in 2016 and 37.6 percent in 2001.
Intellectual Property Rights Protection and the Biopharmaceutical Industry: How Canada Measures Up finds that Canada’s inadequate patent protections for pharmaceuticals are hampering innovation and economic growth. In fact, between 2001 and 2015, biopharmaceutical research and development spending in Canada declined by 20 per cent.
Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2016 finds that Canadian patients waited longer than ever this year for medical treatment. The median wait time in Canada in 2016 was 20 weeks—the longest ever recorded—and more than double the 9.3 weeks Canadians waited in 1993, when the Fraser Institute began tracking wait times for medically necessary elective treatments. Among the provinces, Ontario recorded the shortest wait time at 15.6 weeks—up from 14.2 weeks in 2015. New Brunswick recorded the longest wait time (38.8 weeks). It’s estimated that Canadians are currently waiting for nearly one million medically necessary procedures.
Comparing Performance of Universal Health Care Countries, 2016 finds that, among comparable countries with universal health care, Canada is the third highest spender but our performance ranks modest-to-low. Notably, Canada ranks 24 out of 28 countries for the number of physicians (2.59 per 1,000 people), and at the bottom for wait times.
Intellectual Property Rights and the Promotion of Biologics, Medical Devices, and Trade in Pharmaceuticals finds that if patent protections for drugs and medical devices were strengthened around the world, it could ultimately lower costs in Canada and help save lives by spurring innovation. And until stronger patent protections are established around the world, developed countries should streamline cross-border regulations for pharmaceuticals and medical devices, which would help reduce prices for patients and health-care systems.
Leaving Canada for Medical Care, 2016 estimates that more than 45,000 Canadians in 2015 received non-emergency medical treatment outside the country. Among the provinces, Ontario physicians reported the highest number of patients (22,352) leaving the country for treatment.
Less Ottawa, More Province: How Decentralization Is Key to Health Care Reform finds that, to fix Canada’s costly and under-performing health-care system, the federal government should learn from the welfare reforms of the 1990s that empowered provinces to lower costs while improving services. Last year, health-care costs consumed more than 40 per cent of provincial budgets on average, and they’re estimated to rise to more than 47 per cent by 2030.